Carnac is arguably Europe’s most visually remarkable megalithic sites. It is situated near the town of the same name in Brittany. Many will have seen images of the rows of standing stones there, often unaware that there are four main sets of them close to Carnac as well as cromlechs and solitary menhirs, including the largest, Le Grand Menhir Brisé, now broken, but originally 70 ft long and weighing around 300 tons. In their 1978 book [1771.180], Alexander Thom and his son, Archie, in the conclusion to their book, in spite of their extensive studies of the stone rows, agreed that “we do not know what these were for” and although various theories have been proposed since, we still don’t.
Jean Markale presumed that there was a connection between Atlantis and the megalithic standing stones of Carnac in Brittany. Rather than solve these two mysteries, his book, Carnac et L’enigme de L’atlantide (Carnac and the Enigma of Atlantis)  would seem to deepen them.
Helmut Tributsch suggested that the island of Gavrinis near Carnac in Brittany had been the capital of this Atlantean civilisation(a). He dated the destruction of Atlantis to 2200 BC, a date also favoured by Anton Mifsud.
Hans-Pény Hirmenech expressed the wild idea that the rows of standing stones at Carnac marked the tombs of Atlantean soldiers who fought in the Trojan War! Wikipedia notes that “A Christian myth associated with the stones held that they were pagan soldiers in pursuit of Pope Cornelius when he turned them to stone.”(a)
Hank Harrison supports the idea of a megalithic Atlantis with its centre of power, probably located in the Morbihan area of Brittany.
Based on the picture the data present, Schulz Paulsson believes that the megaliths were first constructed by dwellers of northwest France during the second half of the fifth millennium BC.”(b) Mike Parker Pearson, Stonehenge’s leading authority, has endorsed this idea of a French origin for megalith building(c).
Brittany in northwestern France is sometimes referred to as Little or Lesser Britain. It is one of the most exciting regions of Megalithic Europe. The stone rows of Carnac are unequalled, Le Grand Menhir Brisé was once the largest standing stone in Europe, while Morbihan contains a huge number of dolmens and standing stones.2019 saw a report that “Bettina Schulz Paulsson, an archaeologist at the University of Gothenburg, reexamined some 2,410 radiocarbon dating results that have been assigned to Europe’s megaliths and put them through a Bayesian statistical analysis. Based on the picture the data present, Schulz Paulsson believes that the megaliths were first constructed by dwellers of northwest France during the second half of the fifth millennium BC.” (b) Mike Parker Pearson, Stonehenge’s leading, authority, has endorsed this idea of a French origin for megalith building(c).
The earliest suggestion that Atlantis may have been the connected with the Armorican peninsula came from François Gidon in the 1930’s when he proposed that Atlantis had been situated on an exposed Celtic Shelf stretching from Brittany to Ireland. Unfortunately, he dates the submergence of this land to between 3000 and 1200 BC, which was millennia after that part of the Celtic Shelf had been inundated by the Flandrian Transgression.
Jean Markle was convinced that the Carnac stone were connected with Atlantis. Recently, Sylvain Tristan followed the work of Jean Deruelle in supporting a megalithic Atlantis. Further support has come from Alfred deGrazia and Helmut Tributsch who saw Megalithic Europe as Atlantis with the island of Gavrinis in Brittany as its capital.
The American researcher, Hank Harrison, considers the Morbihan départment as a significant Atlantean location if not the home of its capital.
(a) See: Archive 2501
Helmut Tributsch (1943- ) was born in a small German speaking enclave in Fruili in North East Italy. He was Professor of Physical Chemistry from 1982 at the Free University of Berlin until his retirement in 2008. When his birthplace was destroyed in 1976 by an earthquake he began a study of animal behaviour prior to such events and their role as earthquake predictors, leading to the publication of Wenn die Schlangen erwachen(When the Snakes Awaken) in 1978.
His interests also extended to include Atlantis, regarding which, he published Die Gläsernen Türme von Atlantis (The Glass Towers of Atlantis) in 1986. His view was that megalithic Europe was Atlantis, bounded by water on three sides and a little known border to the east, it could be considered an island. Tributsch suggested that the island of Gavrinis near Carnac in Brittany had been the capital of this Atlantean civilisation.(a).
He dated the destruction of Atlantis to 2200 BC, a date also favoured by Anton Mifsud.
The Identity of the Atlanteans has produced a range of speculative suggestions nearly as extensive as that of the proposed locations for Plato’s lost island. However, it is highly probable that we already know who the Atlanteans were, but under a different name.
The list below includes some of the more popular suggestions and as such is not necessarily exhaustive. While researchers have proposed particular locations for Atlantis, not all have identified an archaeologically identified culture to go with their chosen location. The problem being that most of the places suggested have endured successive invasions over the millennia by different peoples.
It would seem therefore that the most fruitful approach to solving the problem of identifying the Atlanteans would be to first focus on trying to determine the date of the demise of Atlantis. This should reduce the number of possible candidates, making it easier to identify the Atlanteans.
A final point to consider, is that the historical Atlanteans were a military alliance, and as such may have included more than one or none of those listed here. The mythological Atlanteans, who included the five sets of male twins and their successors would be expected to share a common culture, wheras military coalitions are frequently more disparate.
Basques: William Lewy d’Abartiague, Edward Taylor Fletcher
Maltese: Anton Mifsud, Francis Xavier Aloisio, Kevin Falzon, Bibischok, Joseph Bosco, David Calvert-Orange, Giorgio Grongnet de Vasse, Albert Nikas, Joseph S. Ellul, Francis Galea, Tammam Kisrawi, Charles Savona-Ventura, Hubert Zeitlmair.
Maya: Robert B. Stacy-Judd, Charles Gates Dawes, Colin Wilson, Adrian Gilbert, L. M. Hosea, Augustus le Plongeon, Teobert Maler, Joachim Rittstieg, Lewis Spence, Edward Herbert Thompson, Jean-Frédérick de Waldeck,
Minoans: K.T. Frost, James Baikie, Walter Leaf, Edwin Balch, Donald A. Mackenzie, Ralph Magoffin, Spyridon Marinatos, Georges Poisson, Wilhelm Brandenstein, A. Galanopoulos, J. G. Bennett, Rhys Carpenter, P.B.S. Andrews, Edward Bacon, Willy Ley, J.V. Luce, James W. Mavor, Henry M. Eichner, Prince Michael of Greece, Nicholas Platon, N.W. Tschoegl, Richard Mooney, Rupert Furneaux, Martin Ebon, Francis Hitching, Charles Pellegrino, Rodney Castleden, Graham Phillips, Jacques Lebeau, Luana Monte, Fredrik Bruins, Gavin Menzies, Lee R. Kerr, Daniel P. Buckley.
France has had little mention in connection with the Atlantis mystery except by Marcel Mestadgh who was convinced that France was the centre of an ancient civilisation with its capital in the city of Sens. The late Philip Coppens discussed Mestdagh’s theories in two of his books,which in turn led to a two-part essay(f)(g) by Bruce Jeffries-Fox.
Another mysterious feature of ancient France is centred on the town of Alaise from which it was discovered that 24 radial ley lines emanated. These were identified by Xavier Guichard (1870-1947) a former Parisian police chief(e).>In 1936, he self-published the heavily illustrated Eleusis Alesia  outlining his research in great detail.<
However, in the 1990’s Emile Mourey developed a theory which saw the Atlantean ‘Empire’ covering most of western Europe and all of north Africa as far east as Egypt. He places its capital at what is now the village of Gergovie(b) in the départment of Puy-de-Dôme. This Atlantis, according to Mourey, was not destroyed but after 509 BC was known as Gaul!
Brittany, in northwestern France is the centre of some of the most spectacular megalithic monuments in Europe. From the middle of the 20th century onwards a number of researchers have striven to link Atlantis with these remarkable structures. In which connection the work of Deruelle, Tristan, Helmut Tributsch and Hank Harrison must be mentioned.
In February 2019, a report in the Smithsonian Magazine told us that “Bettina Schulz Paulsson, an archaeologist at the University of Gothenburg, reexamined some 2,410 radiocarbon dating results that have been assigned to Europe’s megaliths and put them through a Bayesian statistical analysis. Based on the picture the data present, Schulz Paulsson believes that the megaliths were first constructed by dwellers of northwest France during the second half of the fifth millennium BC.”(h) Mike Parker Pearson, the leading Stonehenge expert, has endorsed this idea of a French origin for megalith building(i).
However, a note of caution has been expressed by Walter Willems in Der Spiegel, who has rightly pointed out that “there also exist megalithic structures in North Africa, as in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco. These have hardly been dated up to now and were not taken into account in the analysis.”(j) I should add that similar monuments are to be found in the Caucasus, Jordan and Korea in great numbers and at many other locations around the globe, which should be included in a broader study.
Additionally, the ever modest Dean Clarke has written(a) of a series of extensive prehistoric floods in France that he links with the flooding of Atlantis.
Timagenus, the Greek historian, noted that there were French tribes who claimed that Atlantis had been the home of their ancestors.
The Megalith Builders, who date mainly from the Neolithic Period, are frequently identified with Plato’s Atlanteans. Their remarkable structures were built between the middles of the fifth and second millennia B.C., a period that is compatible with final days of Atlantis according to Plato. The building of megalithic structures in Western Europe appears to have ended just before the beginning of the Bronze Age – coincidence?
Proponents of the idea of a megalithic building Atlantis see the location and extent of the megalithic structures as being in agreement with Plato’s description, particularly his reference to Atlantis being ‘beyond the Pillars of Heracles’. However the location of the ‘Pillars’ at the time of Solon’s visit to Egypt, is strongly disputed. In fact the only territory unambiguously named by Plato as Atlantean was in southern Italy and North Africa along with a number of islands of which there are many in that region.
However, there are many features in Plato’s narrative that do not conform to our current knowledge of the megalith builders. There is no evidence that they had writing, irrigation technology or the navigational skills to mount an attack on Egypt/Athens or any other characteristics ascribed to the Atlanteans by him.
On the other hand, if these attributes are just literary flesh applied to a skeleton of historical truth there is the the possibility of a link between the Atlanteans and the megalith builders that still remains.
Atlantis enthusiasts are quite happy to associate the megalith builders with Atlantis, as it provides something tangible to enhance the credibility of Plato’s narrative pointing to sites such as Stonehenge or the Maltese Temples. British researcher Robert John Langdon has gone further and proposed that the megalith builders originally came from Africa and settled in Doggerland at the end of the Ice Age, where they established Atlantis. When Doggerland was submerged they migrated to what is now mainland Britain, where they built Stonehenge as a memorial to Atlantis.
While not a new idea, a megalithic connection with Atlantis has recently been given further attention by the French writer Sylvain Tristan who was inspired by Jean Deruelle and Alan Butler. Alfred deGrazia also joined this club as well as the German author Helmut Tributsch who has added his support to the idea of a megalithic Atlantis, specifically locating its capital on the island of Gavrinis in Brittany. A similar claim has been made by Hank Harrison who also believes that the Morbihan region was an important Atlantean centre if not the location of its capital. Further support for a megalithic Atlantis has been given by Walter Schilling who places Plato’s city in the Bay of Cadiz. Robert Temple has recently offered grudging support for the concept of Atlantean megalith builders.
Iberia is also home to very many megalithic strucures of varying types. Recently, lower waters in a Spanish reservoir revealed once more the impressive 144-stone Dolmen-de-Guadalperal, situated roughly halfway between Madrid and the Portuguese border(z) . Efforts are being made to ensure its preservation before the water levels rise again.
As far as I am aware classical writers make no obvious reference to the megalith builders, nor has this omission been commented on by modern writers. However, the numerous indirect references to Atlantis by the same ancient writers are deemed inadequate, which seems consistent with a dearth of information regarding early history.
It appears to me that other questions that have not been definitively answered relate to the identity of the megalith builders, why they stopped building and what happened to them. Another thought is that if the megalith builders lived at the same time as the Atlanteans, is it not strange that both disappeared around the same time, or did they? My opinion is that we are probably confronted with two unrelated mysteries – the disappearance of the megalith builders and the demise of Atlantis.
Parallel with the megaliths of the eastern Atlantic seaboard are the megaliths of North America(ab) . Who built them and when? Are they evidence of very early pre-Columbian voyagers from Europe?(b)
An interesting article combining all the strange aspects of megalith building can be read online(c) which certainly offers food for thought. A paper(d) published in September 2013 gives a good overview of megalithic studies during the past few decades. Walter Haug’s well illustrated website(k) offers a range of previously ignored megalithic sites in Germany.
Much nonsense has been written about the megalith builders, particularly on the Internet, where you find daft ideas such as attributing their construction to aliens(a). The suggestion that extraterrestrials had the technology to travel in space but when they land on earth they have to build observatories with stone is just silly. Why would they even need observatories?
A valuable website dealing with the global spread of megalithic monuments, is The Megalithic Portal established by Andy Burnham(g), which has regular updates. Other useful sites are Stone Pages(h) and Megalithic Ireland(i). Another site worth a look is from Sjur C. Papazian(l). There is also a site(j) dealing specifically with the dolmens of Corsica and Sardinia.
In the Middle East dolmens stretch in a line from the Caucasus(s)(p) to the Yemen with a remarkable concentration of them in modern Jordan(m), a fact which prompted a former Dutch ambassador to Jordan, Gajus Scheltema, to write Megalithic Jordan. Jordan is also home to an ancient mysterious 150 km wall, which was 1-1.5 metres high.(u)
Dolmens are also found in more distant lands such as India(r), Korea(n)(v) and Japan(o). It is difficult to look at the worldwide distribution of dolmens and not consider the possibility of some form of global cultural diffusion! Rarely discussed are the widely dispersed megalithic remains found throughout the Pacific islands(q).
There is a well-illustrated website offering an overview of the megalithic culture of Western Europe and the Mediterranean(t).
In February 2019 the Smithsonian Magazine had a report telling us that “Bettina Schulz Paulsson, an archaeologist at the University of Gothenburg, reexamined some 2,410 radiocarbon dating results that have been assigned to Europe’s megaliths and put them through a Bayesian statistical analysis. Based on the picture the data present, Schulz Paulsson believes that the megaliths were first constructed by dwellers of northwest France during the second half of the fifth millennium BC.” (w)
Some years ago, the renowned English archaeologist, Aubrey Burl, concluded after twenty years of study that French immigrants had built Stonehenge(aa). More recently, Mike Parker Pearson, a leading Stonehenge expert, has also endorsed this idea of a French origin for megalith building(x).
>Archaeologist, Robert Hensey in his insightful First Light [1766.9] has also noted that, “Construction of Breton passage tombs is likely to have ended by 3900 BC, almost certainly by 3800 BC, and the most recent evidence from Ireland suggests that passage tomb construction had not yet begun on this island by that time.”<
The interesting claims of Schulz Paulsson, who places the origins of megalithic construction in Brittany in the fifth millennium BC, may be challenged by a little-known counterclaim that tombs in the Ox Mountains in the west of Ireland have been dated to the seventh millennium BC(y). However, my personal view is that it would be more likely that the practice of megalith building would have spread from the east rather than from Ireland westward!
A rational explanation for the construction of cyclopean masonry has been offered by Professor of Architecture Jean-Pierre Protzen and demonstrated on a YouTube clip(f).
(a) https://www.world-mysteries.com/mpl_10ramm.htm (link broken July 2020)
(q) https://davidpratt.info/easter1.htm (section 10)